Summary: Solomon continues his explanation of the value of wisdom and he tells us: that a wise heart knows how to submit to authority, it knows that wickedness holds a death grip on people, and it accepts the fact that it does not have all the answers to life only
“A Wise Heart”
Ecclesiastes Chapter 8 part 9
Today our subject is wisdom from the heart and here is a funny story on the subject of wisdom:
Opening – On the lighter side of life:
A story… It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
Also, being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the weather service responded. So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is it going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it’s definitely going to be a very cold winter." The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever."
"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting wood like crazy."
Andrew Chan (from sermoncentral.com)
Opening Illustration: From Blue Fish TV “Almena Brown” In her testimony Almena shares some insights that come from wisdom with us that she has learned through life’s hardships and God’s faithfulness.
Thesis: Solomon continues his explanation of the value of wisdom and he tells us: that a wise heart knows how to submit to authority, it knows that wickedness holds a death grip on people, and it accepts the fact that it does not have all the answers to life only God does.
Scripture Text: Ecc. 8
1 Who is like the wise man?
Who knows the explanation of things?
Wisdom brightens a man’s face
and changes its hard appearance.
2Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. 3Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. 4Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”
5 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,
and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him.
7 Since no man knows the future,
who can tell him what is to come?
8 No man has power over the wind to contain it;
so no one has power over the day of his death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
so wickedness will not release those who practice it.
9All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. 10Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.
11When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong. 12Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. 13Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.
14There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 15So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.
16When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man’s labor on earth—his eyes not seeing sleep day or night—17then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.